Siemens will supply the Tioga County plant with two sidebar filter presses for sludge dewatering. Photo courtesy of Siemens AG.

Siemens Water Technologies is providing Hydro Recovery LP with a wastewater treatment system to treat natural gas hydraulic fracturing wastewater (flowback) from Marcellus Shale drilling, as well as produced water from operating wells in Tioga and surrounding counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. This flowback and produced water waste treatment system will be part of a new wastewater treatment plant in Tioga County. The system will include continuous precipitation and sludge dewatering. By using the system, the wastewater will be treated to produce a Hydraulic Stimulation Fluid (HSF) product for reuse, reducing the demand on fresh water sources. The plant is scheduled to go online in April 2011.

Tioga County’s system will be comprised of staged precipitation and dewatering technologies to treat 288,000 GPD (1,090 m3/d) of waters generated from the drilling of natural gas wells. The HSF product produced from the system is designed to reduce hardness by 97 percent, remove barium by 99 percent and iron and other metals to less than 1 ppm, reduce hydro fracturing chemical usage, optimize pH for friction reduction, and remove total suspended solids to less than 100 PPM.

The recycled, customized product is used in fracturing shale. Shale gas is natural gas produced from shale rock fields. This gas has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States over the past decade, with interest also spreading to potential gas shales in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Gas production in commercial quantities in these fields requires fractures to provide well permeability, and modern technology in hydraulic fracturing allows the creation of extensive artificial fractures around well bores. Hydraulic fracturing, however, results in the production of wastewater that must be treated.